Weather Pictures


Storm Chasing


Weather Pictures and Storm Chasing
Chase July 30 2003

Route:Soest - Lelystad - Markerwaarddijk - Swifterbant - Emmeloord - Nagele - Ens - Kampen - Zeewolde - Soest

After last mondays waterspout outbreak over Lake IJsselmeer, this day provided another chance of waterspouts. Behind a cold front a moist polar airmass flowed over The Netherlands. Winds were light to moderate from the SSW and the watertemperature of Lake IJsselmeer is 23°C on average. I waited for convection to start and headed towards the lake at noon. I stopped near Lelystad for a look over the lake. Small towers were going up, but no showers or storms were present. But convection was very low based and that's a good start if one wants to see spouts!
After 30 minutes or so waiting, I thought it was better to use the dyke that crosses the great lake. After about 10 km's I stopped at a parking place and waited for things to happen. To the west I saw a massive line of storms over Noord Holland. I thought it was better to wait, as these storms were supposed to move in my direction. Over the lake new convection initiated, showing nice towers. After 45 minutes a storm moved over and near the base some unorganised lowerings were present. The storm passed without producing a funnel, so I headed east again on the dyke. After a few miles I used a parking spot again to observe the storm.
The storm that just passed me, now developed a really low base! So it was time to start the chase. I moved thru Lelystad and further east. The storm was to my north, so I had to find a way in that direction. Luckily enough the province of Flevoland has an amazing roadnetwork, so it was no problem to find a suitable road. To my north I saw the low and turbulent base. I drove further and ended up on a highway, the A6. Hmmm this was not really my goal, as it is difficult to find exits and parking spots. But what did I see now???? Something was rotating in front of me and it was rotating fast!!! I only saw this kind of rotation before in large wall clouds, often just before producing a tornado.
That was not all, on the left a more aggressive looking wall cloud was visible. It looked like a meso to me! This one was rotating as well and it produced some sort of tail cloud towards the updraft. Wow! I wouldn't have been surprised if this one produced a violent tornado. I stopped at a gas station, so I could take a more stable picture of this amazing feature.
But I had to drive off again, as the RFD of the storm seemed to be moving in my direction. After about 10 km I searched for another photograhy spot. There I saw this wonderful wall cloud. I think I was between Nagele and Ens at this point. After a while the storm became dominated by outflow and the wall cloud disappeared. There was a nice shelf present and behind the shelf cloud the whale's mouth effect was visible.
I tried to keep in front of the storm, so I could take some more shots of the shelf. I succeeded, but it was hard to find a vantage point without trees or buildings. Near Kampen I found a spot, but the storm seemed to have lost much activity at this point. It still looked great though. I performed a core punch, while driving towards Flevoland again. Just lots of rain, no hail or strong gusts. I thought it was time to head home (almost 6 PM), but to the west I saw new storms. These also showed a very low base, with scud clouds underneath. But these storms weren't half as active and nice as the one earlier in the afternoon. A good (surprise) chase!


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© 2003 Bernard Hulshof